Two recent cases highlight the potential damage to dealerships.
Travon Demetrius Hardie, 25, of Washington, D.C., was sentenced in Maryland on Jan. 17 for his involvement in a scheme that fraudulently used the personal identifying information of at least 25 people to purchase at least 31 luxury vehicles, according to a Department of Justice release.
The attempted losses totaled over $1,808,700.
Hardie and co-defendants John Paul Thompson Jr. and Nickolas Alexander Mathis created fake IDs with the stolen personal information, according to the release. These documents were used to obtain financing for vehicles from dealerships in four states. Thompson and Mathis face a maximum sentence of 20 years in federal prison for wire fraud conspiracy and wire fraud, along with a mandatory sentence of two years in federal prison for aggravated identity theft.
Hardie successfully obtained at least 11 automobiles worth more than $697,000, the release said. He was sentenced to 54 months in federal prison and three years of supervised release for conspiracy to commit wire fraud, wire fraud and aggravated identity theft. He admitted he manufactured some of the fraudulent documents that were used in the scheme, according to the release.
In another case, Julio Hisael Almonte, 31, of the Bronx, N.Y., was sentenced in Charleston, W.Va., on Jan. 10 for his role in fraudulently purchasing new trucks from two Charleston dealerships. Almonte and a co-conspirator made these purchases with two forged Ohio driver’s licenses containing stolen personal information and the co-conspirator’s photo, according to a DOJ release.